This is my second special POLcast Episode – a tribute to Ukraine, to our Ukrainian sisters and brothers who are fighting heroically to defend their country against Putin’s army.
When I was working on my last episode of POLcast, special Episode 86, Tribute to Ukraine, I was hoping that maybe in the next one, number 87, I would talk about rebuilding the destroyed Ukrainian cities and towns, about the new hope after the END of the war. I had no idea how much more horrific each day of this neverending war would be, how many more atrocities would be committed, how many more victims and suffering we would witness.
Today is Orthodox Easter Sunday. It is so hard for Ukrainians to celebrate it the way it should be celebrated – with joy and in the spirit of new beginnings. I wish to all of you, our Ukrainian sisters and brothers, is PEACE. Without it nothing is possible or makes any sense.
That’s why this is the second special Episode of POLcast asTribute to Ukraine. It is about HELP because the world is doing all it can to help Ukraine and will not leave it alone.
In this episode you will hear two interviews:
• Toronto artists for Ukraine
This huge concert “With Ukraine” was organized in Toronto by local artists to show their solidarity and love for Ukraine and to raise money for Ukraine. The idea came from two Polish folk singers from the renowned group Polky – Ala Stasiuk and Ewelina Ferenc and the main organizers were all women. Over 800 people came that night to the Toronto Opera House and enjoyed the concert which lasted over 4 hours. Over 60 artists took the stage, over 100 volunteers were involved, including musicians, visual artists and organizers and over $35,000 was raised and donated to Help Us Help.
I talk to Ewelina Ferenc, a Polish artist – composer, multi instrumentalist and vocalist. She is the founder, lead singer and manager of Polky. Recently at the prestigious Canadian Folk Music Awards Ewelina won the main award In the category of Traditional Singer of the Year. We featured Ewelina and Polky in Episode 51 of POLcast (also their story: Polish folk music – the multicultural way)
You can watch the full concert HERE
• “United for Ukraine” – gigantic aid campaign in Edmonton
“United for Ukraine” is the brainchild of of two former politicians from the Canadian province of Alberta: former deputy premier of the province of Alberta and minister Thomas Lukaszuk, a Pole who immigrated to Canada as a teenage boy, and his former boss Albert Ed Stelmach, former premier of this western province, a Ukrainian by origin.
They arranged for the largest Boeing (787 Dreamliner) of LOT Polish Airlines with Ukrainian refugees on board to fly from Poland to Edmonton, where it was loaded with 30 tons of highly specialized equipment and supplies collected there, and then fly back with that cargo to Poland, from where these precious supplies were transported to Ukraine. In addition, the organizers are sending 10 more containers by sea.
Not only did the organizers get the LOT POlish Airlines to donate the airplane, but they received a donation of 50 tonnes of jet fuel from Shell and numerous donations from a variety of companies, Alberta fire departments and hundreds of people.